A circle of students filled the area back stage.
Each took a turn.
“Brittany, blaa-augh!” one girl said, introducing herself.
“Brittany, blaa-augh. Brittany, blaa-augh!” The rest of the circle echoed her introduction once, then twice. Gestures and expressions, too.
Each took a turn.
“Rachel. Errr, errr, errrrrrrr. Whoops, kitty!”
Rachel Lutyens, one of the last members to introduce herself, created a mini-skit for herself - as a crazy driver careening down a street and finally running over a cat.
The students laughed, then repeated the skit.
This was the name game, the start of a drama workshop for Central Valley High School students.
Jesse Petrick, 23, and Andres Alcala, 25, actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, performed Monday morning for Central Valley students. This workshop was their chance to coach younger actors.
“Next we’re going to do something called ‘comic strip,”’ Petrick said. Groups of about six students acted out a fairytale, using three poses or “tableaus.”
Three Little Pigs, Cinderella and other familiar tales were easy to recognize.
Next the groups created their own simple stories and acted them out in tableaus. One group chose a home run - pitcher throwing, batter batting and each actor watching the ball fly into the distance. One chose Bob Dole’s tumble from stage during the campaign season. One chose Romeo and Juliet. And the last chose an abstract struggle between major world religions.
They rehearsed. Performed. Holding a still-life, without motion.
The professionals made their next request:
“Now, I want you to move from one tableau to another as a group. Once you get into the third position, I want you to start over. Every time you do it I want you to find something new,” instructed Alcala.
Pitcher Melissa Imus improvised. She spat, she wound up, she threw. She squinted in agony as the ball flew overhead.
Romeo and Juliet married and died, over and over. Simply. Silently.
Music gave each group a rhythm to follow.
Candidate Dole fell to the floor, again and again, cameramen filming relentlessly.
The combination of scenes, all running at once, was odd yet powerful.
“Give yourselves a round of applause, guys,” Alcala said.
Carmen Sandiego in Spokane
Arranging for 228 West Valley School District fifth-graders to get to the Opera House for a special morning performance of the Spokane Symphony Orchestra is a lot of work.
“Thank goodness my teachers keep telling me that (it’s wonderful). Once you get there, it’s fine,” said Pam Francis, Seth Woodard Elementary School principal.
Each year, the orchestra puts on a performance for fifth-graders around the region. Wednesday’s theme was “Where in the world of music is Carmen Sandiego?”
Fifth-grader Kyle Strenge said, “I liked hearing the trumpet players. because I play the trumpet.”
Noel Bledsaw’s reaction: “I liked when the harp played and when the guy was taking clues, and the pep that were singing and the pep that were playing the drums and stuff.”
Which instrument would she choose to play, after all this great exposure? The viola.
Why? “Because my best friend plays it.”
Both students are in Kathy Mirich’s class at Seth Woodard.
Paint job for SPICE
SPICE, a West Valley School District parent involvement program, is holding its 11th annual auction on Friday.
A free house painting job by a professional painter, adult eveningout packages and collector baseball cards are among the items being auctioned.
The event, which includes dessert, begins at 5:30 p.m. at the ART Bingo, 837 E. Trent. Proceeds will benefit the SPICE classes, which include 70 students in grades 1-4.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: If you have news about an interesting program or activity at a Valley school or about the achievements of Valley students, teachers or school staff, please let us know at the Valley Voice, 13208 E. Sprague, Spokane, WA 99216. Call: 927-2166. Fax: 927-2175.